Iran Needs an Independent Council to Regulate Cryptocurrencies, Says IBA Chief

According to Abbas Ashtiani, Iran needs to establish a special unit to regulate digital assets as the central bank is “not qualified enough” to do so.

The leader of the Iran Blockchain Association (IBA) – Abbas Ashtiani – opined that the country’s central bank (CBA) is not capable of implementing a comprehensive regulatory framework on digital assets. As such, the authorities need to develop an “independent counsel” to resolve the issues.

How Will Iran Regulate Crypto?

Imposing regulations on the digital asset industry is a policy that each government takes quite individually. While China completely banned crypto mining and trading, nations like Russia and the United States vowed not to follow that harsh attitude. Others, such as Gibraltar, are standing in the opposite corner with crypto-friendly rules and openness to blockchain technology.

According to a recent report, the head of the Iran Blockchain Association – Abbas Ashtiani – believes rules in the industry are necessary for the Asian country. However, the nation’s regulators “are not qualified enough” urging them to form a “special counsel” to get the job done:

“We need a special council of representatives from state bodies and private enterprise to craft regulations for cryptocurrencies. The CBI or the Security and Exchange Organization are not qualified [enough] to set rules for cryptos given the multidimensionality of the issue.”

Ashtiani added that while the former government had intentions to regulate the asset class, it never proceeded with those. He regretted that the current administration had no idea how to act with the matter.

Iranian law does not allow the use of digital assets for transactions inside the country’s borders. Still, licensed financial institutions can employ bitcoin and the alternative coins to pay for imports.

On the other hand, mining cryptocurrencies is legal, but only if miners acquire a license from the Ministry of Industries and pay their electricity bills based on power export tariffs.

Crypto Mining Was Illegal for Four Months

The low-cost energy in Iran became one of the main reasons why crypto mining was thriving earlier in 2021. However, some miners even employed household electricity to power their operations, which later led to issues.

At the end of May, the Iranian government placed a temporary ban on all cryptocurrency mining endeavors citing vast energy consumption as the reason.

Nearly a month after announcing the crackdown, the authorities confiscated about 7,000 bitcoin mining machines from an abandoned factory in the capital – Tehran City. The seizure was marked as the largest ever carried out in the Asian country.

On September 22nd, the government lifted the restrictions explaining that it was the end of the summer season and the electricity demand was not that high anymore.